One of my primary attractions to sites like Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook, etc is that they are predicated on distribution and portability. But a recent New York Times article ‘Craig Looks Beyond the Web’ made me rethink the definition of distribution.
The article describes how Craigslist has added over 250 new locations (ie [city].craigslist.org) to expand their reach and help drive growth (of note, Kijiji launched in the US in 200+ cities – a complete list is available on www.kijiji.com):
The fascinating part is in understanding how ‘distributed’ each of the big three classifieds sites are: Craigslist, Kijiji and Oodle. Using Quantcast’s public data, I charted the percentage of traffic that each city represents for its respective network:
The results are very interesting and suggest that distribution is quite different for each site and brand:
- 13% of Craigslist’s traffic is from San Francisco (where CL got its start). The bay area represents less than 2% of traffic for both Kijiji and Oodle.
- Oodle doesn’t appear to be heavily dependent on any particular city because their UI is unique and based on zip codes and refinement by locale. Craigslist and Kijiji have geographic hubs.
- Outside of San Francisco, Craigslist’s traffic break down is rather linear / stable while Kijiji is far different and more diverse: Las Vegas and Washington DC are +21% and New York City is ~15%. Are these cities that Craigslist has struggled in? Or, are they large enough that they can support multiple sites?
- Within each network, there are prominent cities that are quite surprising: Craigslist (Portland = 6.5%), Kijiji (Detroit = 3%, Allentown = 1.8%), Oodle (NYC = 1.2%… quite low comparatively)
Note: where the line is at 0% – it means that the data is not available on Quantcast as it is not one of the 20 most active subdomains on the site.
Also worth noting: each of these sites is growing quite quickly. This chart is also from Quantcast (can you tell yet that I use them all the time?) and displays the relative growth. Craigslist in blue; Kijiji in red; Oodle is green.